On Nov. 10, Jennie Arbogash, principal and founder of Jennie Arbogash Consulting, will facilitate “Grant-Writing for Success,” the third and final installment in our Outreach & Engagement Professionals Network fall workshop series. Katie Kleinhesselink, Community Outreach Program Manager for the Office for Outreach and Engagement, sat down with Arbogash to learn more about her work and what we can expect from the workshop.
Kleinhesselink: Hey, Jennie! Thanks for making the time! I was reading your bio, and wow, you’ve had an impressive career—you’ve been a development director at a few different nonprofits, you were the CEO of Social Venture Partners Boulder County, you serve on numerous boards…What drew you to this work?
Arbogash: Well, I went to college with the intention of becoming a journalist and was required to do an internship in my last semester of school. I’d volunteered with nonprofits from an early age, and I was intrigued to come across an internship opportunity with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation. My family had benefited from their care, and it seemed like a great way to give back. My first job out of college was on their large events fundraising team. I was hooked–after that there was no turning back!
Kleinhesselink: I love that! I had a similar experience—my college internship was in my university’s Office for Civic Engagement, and 20+ years later I’m still in higher ed engagement. Amazing. So, in 2020, you founded Jennie Arbogash Consulting. What most excites you about being an independent consultant for nonprofit organizations?
Arbogash: It’s extremely satisfying to help social good organizations have more impact while easing the daily pressures faced by staff and board. I’ve been in their shoes, and folks say I’m good at helping to bridge the gap between quality practices and realistic investments of time and money. Also, I can get passionate about almost any good cause, and I love to learn. So, it’s rewarding to get to work with many different organizations and incredible people.
Kleinhesselink: You’re naming challenges we face in higher education community engagement too–how we grow and leverage our limited resources to effectively partner with communities. Obviously, grant-writing is a big piece of that. To that point, tell me a bit about what people should expect from Grant-Writing for Success? What do you hope participants walk away with?
Arbogash: This will be a highly interactive session. It’s going to be productive and fun, so you should come ready to participate! You’ll leave with a better understanding of your foundation funder audience, have gained some effective grant-seeking practices, and identified a self-development goal.
Kleinhesselink: Count me in! So, without giving too much away, I’m curious—if you had one piece of advice for folks who are writing foundation grants, what would it be?
Arbogash: Foundations want to give out money. They just have to see how their goals and your work align. Focus on building a relationship, understanding their priorities, and tailoring your message to highlight the intersections.
Kleinhesselink: Brilliant. I’m so excited for this workshop, Jennie! Thanks for making the time!
Grant-Writing for Success will be held in the Center for Teaching & Learning (CASE E390) from 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. To register, click here. For more information, email Katie Kleinhesselink at email@example.com.